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August 19, 2018: Giving Thanks for All Souls


by Debby Kelly

As I prepare to move away from Washington, where my husband and I have lived since his job brought us here in 2010, I have been reflecting on what a blessing All Souls Episcopal Church has been in my life! When our neighbors and friends Jeffrey Hunter and Terry Adlhock invited me to join them at a service six years ago, I looked forward to learning what the little church down from the Zoo was all about. The first sermon I heard from Fr. John Beddingfield, a fellow Southerner, touched my heart and soul. As he invited the congregation to communion with the words “All Are Welcome,” that was all I needed to hear to decide that this was where I wanted to be.

In the years since, I have learned more about tolerance, inclusion, and the love of Christ. That love is shown by members of the congregation every time one walks in the door. That love is expressed by them every day all over the city. That love sustained me when our beloved grandson died two years ago. That love rejoiced with me when our first granddaughter was born earlier this year. All Souls Church is filled with love.

When we started the search for a new rector, it was a time of upheaval, and for me, a time to be quiet and listen. Having never experienced a change like this, it pushed me to learn more about the Episcopal Church. I grew up Roman Catholic, and when a pastor left, a new one was named by the Bishop immediately. The people have more of a say in the process here, which I like.

In the various committees where I have served, I have enjoyed engaging with other members of the congregation. The weddings, baptisms, and funerals I have attended here have been beautiful and meaningful. And I love the fact you can take the flowers home every Sunday. What a brilliant idea!

It is hard to leave this safe place, this warm All Souls community, and move back to Atlanta this month. I regret I won’t be here to participate in the journey as Father Jadon brings the congregation closer and deeper together as Christians.

Thank you, All Souls, for the welcome you gave me. I will miss you.

Last Published: August 16, 2018 11:50 AM
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